Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Should You Read Reviews About Your Book?

   There is no easy answer to this question. Everyone is different, therefore everyone will react a little differently to reading reviews on their book whether positive or negative.

  If You Read Reviews:

  If it is a negative review: Every author gets a negative review. You're not the only one so don't let yourself get down! Getting a negative review might help to point out things that you did wrong. Maybe someone pointed out a plot hole, or a few other things, either way, you'll be more cautious to take notice to such things with your next novel. Negative reviews aren't all bad.
  Don't ever contact the reviewer to harass them, or explain why their review is wrong, and why your book is actually great! Don't be a rude author! Take feedback with grace. Feedback, whether good or bad, still brings attention to your book.

  If it is a positive review: I'm pretty sure reading a good review makes every author swell with pride. Should you comment or write this person about their review? You can if you want to say, "Thank you" but maybe don't praise them--it could make the reviewer uncomfortable. But sending a generic "thank you" email or comment should be okay, it just depends on the person.

  If You Don't Read Reviews:

  If you don't read reviews on your book, you'll never know if someone said a good or bad thing about your work. This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing; like I said, it depends on the person! By not reading reviews, you won't know what needed to be fixed, and you could make the same or a similar mistake in your next novel.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Killing a Book Character

   Authors love a good death scene.

 Writers enjoy doing some really weird stuff. One of those things is killing a character. I'm sure you (as a reader) already know this if you've read a John Green, J.K. Rowling, or Gayle Forman book. All authors that write tragic novels are evil because we crush your soul by killing your favorite character. We've heard it before. If you're a reader, book character deaths destroy you, anger you, make you want to cry; good, that's how we were hoping you would react.

 Death scenes are fun to write, regardless of whether we'd planned it way in advance, or if it was a spur-the-moment decision because we were in a bad mood. Either way, we love 'em! This is another weird writer-thing. I don't know a writer who doesn't love a good, fictional death, especially if a fight is involved.

 Necessarily, you don't have to plan the deaths of all your characters. Some can be spur-the-moment, or slightly planned a few pages or chapters in advance, or you can plan to have this character die before even starting the book!

 Death was planned in advance: Now, if you're one of those authors that start the book off just right, and make it known to your readers that this certain character is going to die before the end...As a reader, you annoy me; as a writer, I respect and applaud you. Because you brought this character to life, made everyone fall in love with him/her, only to kill him/her. I have an example for you: if he had been with me by Laura Nowlin. I read this book recently (I did a review over at Infinite Book Reviews), knew that Finny was going to die as soon as I read the first chapter, then fell in love with him, only to have my heart ripped out by the time he died!

 The hope crusher: You could be the kind of writer that gives hope that this character isn't going to die, that everything will be fine, and then snatch that hope away and crush it. if i stay by Gayle Forman is an example. I thought Teddy was alive and okay. I was convinced that Mia would wake up and she'd figure out a way to take care of him.
That hope was squashed a few chapters later when everything does not turn out okay!

 Planned deaths: You don't have to plan a death, unless you're writing a tragic book that requires you to kill a certain fictional character. In the past, I hadn't really planned character death's because most of them died during a major fight and I felt that it should have been just as much a surprise to my readers as it was to me...and sometimes I was having a bad day and decided to kill a fictional person instead of screaming into a pillow. It's a wonderful stress reliever.

 Attached to a character?: The more you're attached to a character, the harder it is to kill them, so don't get attached! Keep your distance! Make icicles form around your heart and be the cold-hearted writer I know you are so you can kill this character! Usually, if you feel that you have to kill them for the plot, you have to, especially if you planned it in advance.
I'm totally joking; if you really feel like you shouldn't kill this character, then don't unless if you have to for the plot. Always go with your gut!

 Last minute demise: Spur-the-moment deaths can be just as thrilling, or upsetting as a planned one. As long as this character wasn't an unnecessary one and you're just killing them for no reason other than because you realize that they're unimportant to the story, it should be a good death that gets the reader riled up.

 Let the words flow and do what your gut tells you when it comes to killing off characters! Look at J.K. Rowling, she'd planned to kill Ron throughout the series, but could never bring herself to do it. She'd put him into this horrible situation that she didn't think anyone could get out of, then would find a way for him to at the last minute because she couldn't kill him.

 Happy writing! <3


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Why You Should Read Aloud When Editing

   So, the reason why I'm posting a day later than usual is because I'm about to finish two subjects for school, and working two jobs all while editing my novel for the third time.

 If you follow me on Twitter (@ashleyc_earley) you know that I've been editing a lot these last few weeks and have just finished editing my latest book for the second time just this weekend. You also know that I started editing it for the third--and hopefully final--time this week.

 When editing, I struggle to find those sentences that just don't sound right. Sometimes when I come across these sentences, I can't figure out what exactly is wrong with it so I tend to stare at it for awhile, or try writing the sentence in several different ways. This is when my red pen makes my manuscript look like a bloody mess.

 Sometimes it helps me to read the sentences before and after it to try to piece it together, then I read the sentence that doesn't sound right. When you quietly read, your mind corrects the mistakes that are in front of you. If you read aloud, you're more likely to notice your manuscript's mistakes as you edit because you're hearing how it sounds.

 Reading your entire manuscript aloud probably isn't something you want to do, and maybe you shouldn't because you might second-guess yourself, but you should at least read those sentences that might come off sounding strange.

 Anyway, sorry but that's all I got for you this week. I promise I'll do better next Tuesday!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy Semtember 1st (Back to Hogwarts)

   How is everyone this week? I hope the answer is somewhere along the lines of, "Good."

 A new month has started and not just any month; it's September. Everyone should be starting back at Hogwarts now, right? Well, I--like many--still haven't gotten my Hogwarts acceptance letter so I'm just sitting here at my computer like any ol' boring Muggle.

 But, I'm a boring Muggle that is here to share some news with you. I'm writing a blog post about my book-nerdiness today, instead of blogging about writing, mostly because I don't have time to sit down and write about writing when I should be editing. So let's get to it so I can get to work :)

 So a few new books got released today, but the only ones I cared about were the beauties in the photos below. I've been waiting months to get my hands on the new The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices (by Cassandra Clare) covers, and they have finally arrived!

These are photos I took today as soon as I opened the box:

 Look at how gorgeous these covers are. Look! These covers are every author's dream. I love the covers so much that I don't even have a favorite! That's very unlike me. The art is amazing and the characters on the covers look how I imagined them, and every single person on The Mortal Instruments covers look bad-ass! I'm just loving these new and improved covers!

 I am just amazed. I didn't think this series could get any better, and then Cassandra Clare releases new covers for the series that are just breathtaking.

 Cassandra Clare (as well as many others) has been an inspiration to me for years. She crafted this amazing story that just sucks you in every time you sit down to read one of her books, and has lovable and funny characters to take you along for the ride. I can't wait to read more of her work!

Longer post at: http://infinitybookreview.blogspot.com/